In the Low Valley.

In the dampness of the low valley,
all rows are remarkably dry and kept,
a handsome sty from rushy field,
brings the wandering foot,
to light upon the hard-packed earth.

Fingers intertwined,
hard grip to hold back,
a binding in the throat,
of a half-remembered smokey knee,
beside the range,
memories of the exuberant release of the dark bottled gift,
illicit suck of bitter suds,
tasting the warmth of laughter.

Delicate treasures inhabit the front room,
spindled legged glass fawns mid china cups,
rich dark chocolate swirling,
drawn from the recesses of a handbag,
to mark the rare visit,
of a beloved one from across the sea.

All come flooding,
like the stream bursting from the hillside,
where misshapen trunks of ash,
guard the lost homestead,
while the blackbird rests,
black face sheep watch on in silence,
as goodbyes are said to grey headstones,
and we walk home alone.

by Ruairí de Barra

Kindly published in Live Encounters Magazine in their Special 11th Anniversary Edition, Volume II, December 2020. You can read the four poems in this special volume on the Live Encounters website or download a free .pdf copy just by clicking here.

Live Encounters is a wonderful publication and all of its issues, as well as special editions, may be found on its website at https://liveencounters.net/

I would like to thank Mark Ulyseas for seeing fit to include my work again in the same pages of some truly talented people

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